Awkward? Perry, not White, will welcome Obama to Texas

Fort Worth Star-TelegramAugust 7, 2010 

FORT WORTH — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White said he never considered changing his campaign schedule Monday to catch up with President Barack Obama, who is attending private fundraisers in Austin and Dallas.

Instead, White will start the day by talking to Texans in Midland and end it by participating in the Pioneers and Old Settlers Reunion parade in Alvarado.

"This has been scheduled quite a while," White said Friday after talking to the Rotary Club of Fort Worth. "In general, we tend to make a schedule and keep a schedule. We have a pretty disciplined campaign. But there's no disrespect intended toward the president."

Republican Gov. Rick Perry, on the other hand, plans to greet Obama at Austin-Bergstrom Airport when the president arrives in Austin on Monday, Perry spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said Friday.

Perry had asked the White House for a meeting with the president to talk about what Perry calls Obama's "grossly insufficient" allocation of National Guard troops for the Texas border, among other issues. Now Perry hopes to be able to tell Obama about some of the problems during the brief greeting Monday.

"He really wants the president to know the severity of the situation on the border," Cesinger said. "While it may be brief, he hopes to be able to share those concerns with him."

Meanwhile, White said he doesn't feel any awkwardness about not meeting with Obama while he's in the state.

"I'm campaigning to represent the people of Texas," he said. "I've been in 44 counties within the last 36 days, and that number is growing. . . . When I talk to citizens, they want to talk about the future of the state."

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